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Setting a Healthy Profit Margin

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Businesses are founded on different core principles and ideas, but at the end of the day, it’s a numbers game. The success of your small business hinges on what you charge. If you charge too much, people won’t buy what you’re selling and if you price yourself too low, you won’t turn a profit.

December 29, 2020
Author: Amber Ornelas

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This is why setting a profit margin is so important. But how do you determine a profit margin that’ll work for your unique business?

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to set and maintain a healthy profit margin so your business can thrive.

Calculate Your Costs

The first step in setting a healthy profit margin is to calculate labor and materials costs as well as overhead expenses.

For example, if you are opening a coffee shop that will be able to produce 5,000 cups of coffee and pastries, calculate the labor and materials costs for producing this number of coffee and pastries. You’ll also need to consider labor expenses such as hourly wages.

Next, you need to calculate your overhead costs. These include things like rent, software, furniture/equipment and more.

Conduct Industry Research

Once you’ve determined the above expenses, you need to research direct operating cost standards for your industry. This can be tricky as you shouldn’t base your pricing strategy solely on your competition. But seeing what your competition is charging can help you  set a baseline for your pricing model and showcase differences in pricing.

Set Your Price and Markup

Now that you’ve determined your material, labor and overhead costs and have done industry research, it’s time do your cost-plus pricing calculation. Add up: Material costs + labor costs + overhead. Then, you have to apply your standard markup to that total. Markup is how much more money you charge (in a dollar amount or percentage) for a product or service after costs so you’re ensured a stable profit.

Using our coffee shop example again, if it costs $1,000 in ingredients and $1,000 in labor to produce 5,000 cups of coffee, set the price at $3,000, or 60 cents per cup, a price that will allow you to maintain the industry average 33 percent each for food and labor costs.

Determine Profit Margin

Before you determine this, you need to know that there are three different types of profit margins: GrossOperating and Net.


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To calculate all three, divide the profit (revenue minus costs) by the revenue. Then multiply this figure by 100 to get your profit margin percentage. Calculate each profit margin using a different measure of profit.

Gross Profit –  This represents your total revenue minus the cost of goods sold.

Operating Profit – This is your total revenue minus your business expenses.

Net Profit –  This profit margin is determined by totaling your revenue minus the cost of goods sold, operating expenses, interest, taxes, preferred stock, and debt repayments.

Online tools such as the Profit Margin Calculator can help you quickly calculate your projected profit margins.

Regularly Evaluate Your Profit Margin

Last but not least, evaluate your profit margin over time. This will determine whether your projections are realistic and whether your profit margin is sufficient. This means that you should regularly do these calculations to ensure you have a healthy profit margin for your business.

In Conclusion

Understanding your business’s numbers will help you fully understand your pricing formula inside and out. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your business is making more than enough money to thrive!

If you’re ready to turn your dream business into a reality, look no further than Nevada Corporate Headquarters. From business entity formation to accounting and taxes, building business credit and estate planning, our comprehensive asset protection strategies are second to none and are proven to help businesses successfully launch and grow. Contact us today and go from business idea to open for business.

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